A tradition of trust

The Tata trusts are the unsung heroes of an extraordinary saga of philanthropy that has enriched India and its citizens in myriad ways

Jamsetji Tata, the Founder of the Tata group, and his sons Dorab and Ratan, bequeathed much of their personal wealth to the many trusts they created for the greater good of India and its people. Today the Tata trusts have come to control 66 percent of the shares of Tata Sons, the promoter holding company of the group.

The wealth that accrues from this asset supports an assortment of causes, institutions and individuals in a wide variety of areas. The trusteeship principle governing the way the group functions casts the Tatas in a rather unique light: capitalistic by definition but socialistic by character.

About the trusts
There are two principal trusts operating under the Tata umbrella:

Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and Allied Trusts (SDTT)
SDTT's allocations to non-profit organisations is in these areas: natural resource management and rural livelihoods, urban poverty and livelihoods, education, health, civil society, governance and human rights, media, art, and culture. Allocations for individuals comes under the heads of medical grants and travel or education grants.

The 'allied trusts' component of the SDTT comprises the Tata Social Welfare Trust, the RD Tata Trust, the Tata Education Trust, the JRD Tata Trust, the JRD Tata and Thelma Tata Trust, the Jamsetji Tata Trust, the JN Tata Endowment, the Lady Meherbai Tata Memorial Trust, and the Lady Meherbai Tata Education Trust.

While the JN Tata Endowment offers promising Indian students loan scholarships for postgraduate studies abroad, the JRD Tata Trust gives scholarships for studies in India. The Lady Tata Memorial Trust offers scientific scholarships, both national and international, for supporting research in leukaemia and blood related diseases and towards the alleviation of human suffering from other diseases. Additionally, a Young Researcher Award is given annually for a 5-year post doctoral research project. The Lady Meherbai D Tata Trust scholarships are offered to young Indian women graduates for pursuing higher studies abroad and the JRD and Thelma J Tata Trust focuses on the health and education of women and children. The rest of the trusts share a common agenda. The Jamsetji Tata Trust, the Tata Education Trust, the Tata Social Welfare Trust and the RD. Tata Trust focus on overall developmental issues. Read more on SDTT >>

Sir Ratan Tata Trust and Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust (SRTT & NRTT)
SRTT & NRTT support non-profit organisations, individuals and institutions, and the areas the trust touches are rural livelihoods and communities, education, health, enhancing civil society and governance, arts and culture, and sports. Read more on SRTT & NRTT >>

The stories behind the setting up of the Tata Trusts

India has an old tradition of philanthropy, passed on down the ages by kings, noblemen and rich merchants. Jamsetji Tata, the Founder of the Tata group, gave new meaning to this term. In his words: "There is one kind of charity common enough among us… It is that patchwork philanthropy which clothes the ragged, feeds the poor, and heals the sick. I am far from decrying the noble spirit which seeks to help a poor or suffering fellow being. [However] what advances a nation or a community is not so much to prop up its weakest and most helpless members, but to lift up the best and the most gifted, so as to make them of the greatest service to the country."

 

Stories


A heart for healing
The Tata Medical Center in Kolkata has set new benchmarks in the treatment and care of those battling cancer in the eastern part of India and the countries neighbouring the region
Art conservation gets a boost
An art conservation project supported by the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust is enabling the protection of India's cultural heritage, while reviving indigenous preservation practices and encouraging restoration
Life after death
With the support of Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust, Mohan Foundation is helping save lives by facilitating organ donations and training transplant coordinators
Folklore finds a voice
By documenting and recording folklore, social scientists are hoping to preserve pieces of the traditional and oral cultures of some of the tribes and sects being pushed to India's margins
Glad tidings in Vidarbha
In the blighted Vidarbha region of central India, the Tata trusts are supporting organisations involved with easing the many burdens farmers face and, in the process, seeding hope for a better tomorrow